Does your child constantly throw tantrums? Does your child defy you, no matter what the issue? Does your child argue with adults? Do they often talk back and disobey? It may seem like normal child like behavior to be oppositional, defiant, and uncooperative, but what if they don’t seem to be growing out of it? What if it is not just a phase? What if it is ODD? What is ODD? ODD stands for Oppositional Defiance Disorder. It is a disorder where children are openly uncooperative and defiant or even hostile, so much so that it becomes a serious concern.
It is normal for kids to be ornery from time to time, and as a part of that be oppositional. This is especially true if they are hungry, tired, or going through something stressful. However, when this is their fallback behavior, and it becomes evident that this is frequent and consistent, so much so that it stands out as far more than other children of their age and development level, or when it affects their social, family, and academic life, it might be more than normal childlike behavior. It might be ODD.
While there are many symptoms of ODD, and multiple of the following must be present, and in so much tha they affect day to day functioning, the following is a look at some of the patterns uncooperative, defiant, and hostile behavior that may indicate ODD:
- Blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
- Often being touchy or easily annoyed by others
- Spiteful attitude and revenge seeking
- Frequent temper tantrums
- Excessive arguing with adults
- Often questioning rules
- Frequent anger and resentment
- Mean and hateful talking when upset
- Active defiance and refusal to comply with adult requests and rules
- Deliberate attempts to annoy or upset people
These are usually symptoms seen in every child, but when they are found to be frequent, consistent, and found in multiple settings, and are very noticeable, it might be a sign that it is not just a phase, but a real disorder.
Most kids with ODD are more demanding, and often more sensitive than the normal child. They usually become easily upset, and often exhibit signs of high maintenance behavior. It can be frustrating to be a parent of a child with ODD, especially because it can make everyday life extremely difficult for the whole family. If you think your child has a problem, talk to a therapist. It is not known what cases ODD, but there is therapy treatment, and some medication that can help reduce the symptoms and make life more normal and easier on everyone involved. Consistent disruptive, defiant, and oppositional behavior is different from the normal tantrums and struggles of being a toddler, school aged kid, or teen. 16% of school aged kids may have ODD, so check, and get treatment if your child’s behavior is not normal for their age and development.